Chronic Pain and Float Tanks

What is a float tank?

It is typically a soundproof and lightproof tank. No sound. No music. No interruptions. No talking. No phones. No technology. You are alone in silence.

You step into water that is heated to skin temperature (94-95 degrees F) with about 850 pounds of Epsom salts. You cannot sink no matter how heavy, injured or disabled.

Open tanks are now offered should you feel too claustrophobic to use the closed tanks and still have the benefit of isolation.

FloatTankFloatOn   FloatTankFloatOn2  

Why do I float?

After many floats, I find that they help dissipate my fears of the future. My questions of will I work again? Will these explosions in my head continue? Is this really my life? Will there be a cure before I die? I am more able to stay present and move these questions to the background during a session.

Before I finish each float, there is a magic moment where these questions release and I move into a place of gratitude. I learn how to be thankful for the times I am able to leave the house, see friends, trail walks, garden, write, and thrive even as I am being jolted with Taser like pains.


I trust the float process especially with what I call “The Mattress Moment.” Suddenly I completely relax and feel as if I am on the most comfortable mattress formed to the needs of my body. I am warm and completely supported. I cannot sink. This helps me to fall even more in love with my body and my life.

Occasionally I fall asleep. This amuses me as I hear my mother say, “You must always have a buddy in the water. It’s possible to drown in only six inches of water.” And I float alone. Just me. No buddy.  No body. Nobody. And I feel safe.


In my most recent float, I paid attention to what happened to my pain in this space devoid of light and sound. I surrendered. I melted deeper into the water and noticed my pain quieted down. I had no need to give it attention. When I allowed space for utter silence, I heard how to do this thing called chronic pain. To have a full life. To thrive.

My favorite tank is shaped like a clam shell. When I step out of it, I feel like Venus being birthed on her giant scallop shell. Naked. Empty of pain for this moment in time. And that is enough.


If you would like more details on floating, contact me at

I float at Float On in Portland, Oregon. Here is their website.



Gail Sinclair, Master Hypnotherapist, Certified Nutritional Consultant, & Karuna® Reiki Master Teacher, works diligently to teach others how to Thrive with Chronic Pain™. She lives with persistent pain and refuses to let it be in charge of her life (and accepts that some days it is).

You can reach her at or at

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